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Bell Law Firm Files Malpractice Suit Against Atlanta Brain and Spine Care


— December 9, 2020

In the hours that followed the surgery, Hay reported tremendous pain and numbness as she recovered.


Lloyd Bell of Bell Law Firm today confirms the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit in DeKalb County against Atlanta Brain and Spine Care and other defendants. The suit arises from surgical errors and failures to address post-surgery problems. According to the Complaint:

On October 15, 2018, Pamela Hay – a 67-year-old Georgia resident with spinal pain – met with Dr. Roger Frankel, a neurosurgeon affiliated with Piedmont Hospitals. Dr. Frankel recommended surgery to remove a disc and insert an implant in Hay’s spine.

Dr. Frankel performed the surgery on Hay. During the procedure, Dr. Frankel and staff took seven x-ray images. The images showed that the implant was placed too close to the spinal cord. The images also showed that the screws used to hold the implant in place likely intruded into the spinal canal and the area where nerve roots leave the spinal cord. Based on the x-rays, Dr. Frankel should have repositioned the implant and screws. Had he done so, neurological injury likely could have been avoided. But he did not reposition the implant and screws.

In the hours that followed the surgery, Hay reported tremendous pain and numbness as she recovered. The circumstances required Dr. Frankel to examine the x-rays immediately. Had he done so, he would have seen that the implant and screws needed to be repositioned, and he could have taken Hay to the OR immediately taken to reposition the cage and screws. But Dr. Frankel did none of this.

Image of a Doctor Looking at an X-Ray
Doctor Looking at an X-Ray; image courtesy of rawpixel.com via Unsplash, https://unsplash.com

Instead, Dr. Frankel wrote that his “plan” was that Pamela would “likely” improve “spontaneously.” A series of other doctors from Atlanta Brain and Spine Care noted that Pamela had difficulty walking and had numbness on the bottoms of her feet. But none investigated to learn that the cage and screws were misplaced and were impinging on Pamela’s nerve roots and cauda equina. Dr. Frankel did not examine Hay again for the remainder of this hospitalization, which lasted another six days, until Dr. Frankel discharged Hay to a skilled nursing facility.

By now using a walker and suffering chronic pain, Hay sought a second opinion on the surgery and follow-up treatment. Dr. Frankel eventually performed a second surgery months after the original surgery. Hay’s pain and suffering continued.

“Pamela Hay’s surgery was botched by the doctor at Piedmont Hospital, leaving her with severe, life-changing limitations that persist today,” states Lloyd Bell. “If Dr. Frankel had properly reviewed the images he ordered, he would’ve seen the cage set too far back, and the screws set too deeply. But he and the other attending doctors charged with Pamela Hay’s care ignored the warning signs, dismissed the red flags and allowed the grafted bone cage to set permanently in the wrong location for normal spine function. By filing suit today, we understand we cannot fix Pamela’s spine or ease her pain. But it’s our hope to move her life forward with the means to manage as best as possible her now permanent disability. We also hope that holding these physicians accountable for their actions will reduce the risk that other people will suffer like Pamela Hay has.”

For more information about Bell Law Firm’s success in helping victims of medical malpractice, visit: www.belllawfirm.com/results.

About Bell Law Firm

Bell Law Firm is Georgia’s preeminent firm for victims of medical malpractice. Founded in 1999 by Lloyd Bell, the firm has recovered more than $100 million for patients and families of people injured or killed due to medical negligence. Bell has more than 25 years of experience in federal and state courts, and he has represented clients in more than 80 jury trials and hundreds of successful settlements. Specializing in litigating misdiagnoses, surgical errors, and other types of malpractice, Bell Law firm differentiates itself with deep legal expertise, a mastery of technology in the courtroom and a compelling manner of storytelling. In 2018, Daily Report, the leading source of legal news in Atlanta, named Bell Law Firm as Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year.

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